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Syngenta agrees to $105 mln settlement for herbicide litigation


Switzerland-based Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) announced Friday a $105 million settlement in the United States for a case surrounding its weed killer atrazine, which was said to have entered several community water systems.

The case was brought upon by the community water systems who wanted Syngenta to pay for the chemical to be filtered from their supplies.

Syngenta, an agrochemicals crop protection and seed company, settled the litigation in order to end business uncertainty, and avoid further expenses of protracted legal proceedings, it said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Syngenta denied liability, and the plaintiffs acknowledged that the company was not aware of any new scientific studies relating to atrazine.

The total cost of settling was $105 million, which will be charged to Syngenta's income statement in 2012. This fee is partly covered by provisions, the company said.

The earnings impact will be roughly 50 cents per share.

The company is waiting to have the settlement agreement with plaintiffs approved by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Syngenta will continue to market the herbicide atrazine as part of its corn herbicide portfolio, since it allows growers in the United States to achieve optimal weed control.

The company recently reported that the herbicide is used in over 60 countries and meets strict safety regulations.

Syngenta is located across 90 countries, and is focused on increasing crop productivity, protecting the environment, and improving health and quality of life.

Shares were down more than 1 per cent in early trading Friday morning in New York, at $63.3.

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